Mainstream American audiences are most familiar with the U.S.-made films of the late Louis Malle -- including the sensual New Orleans period piece Pretty Baby and the moody Burt Lancaster vehicle Atlantic City. But before Hollywood came calling, Malle was one of the most prominent directors in his native France, and starting this weekend, Starz FilmCenter presents a four-film Malle retrospective that represents his best work.
Made in 1960, Zazie dans le Métro (7 p.m. Friday, February 17, and 4 p.m. Saturday, February 18) chronicles the runaway adventures of a curious twelve-year-old girl in the streets of Paris; 1971's masterful Murmur of the Heart (7 p.m. Saturday, February 18, and 4 p.m. Sunday, February 19) is political incorrectness extended to daring heights -- a comedy about the relationship of a free-spirited woman and her precious, fourteen-year-old son. Set during the Nazi Occupation of France, 1974's Lacombe, Lucien (7 p.m. Friday, February 24, and 4 p.m. Saturday, February 25) tells the oddly comic story of an opportunistic eighteen-year-old peasant who sets out to join the Resistance and winds up instead as a member of the Gestapo; and the fictionalized but autobiographical Au Revoir les Enfants (7 p.m. Saturday, February 25, and 4 p.m. Sunday, February 26), released in 1987, recounts Malle's coming of age during World War II, when the Christian school he attended harbored Jewish students, with tragic results.
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Starz FilmCenter is in the Tivoli Student Union, 900 Auraria Parkway; for information, call 303-820-3456 or go to www.denverfilm.org.